To the Moon and Back…Instantly

I successfully decoded a JT65a encoded signal that was sent from another ham on the opposite side of the world who pointing his antenna at the moon. The signal reflected off of the face of the moon and was received by my satellite tracking station. Normally you need a massive array of antennas and radio investment to do that with voice, but the digital encoding techniques of JT65 enable effective data transmission with very modest equipment (albeit at a very slow data rate). It was amazing to turn up the receiver volume and hear nothing… and then the decoded message appeared.

Here’s my small directional antenna pointed at the moon which used SatPC32 to track it automatically by turning the 2-axis rotor.

Here’s a larger moon-bounce antenna array. Notice how small the people look admiring the massive antenna array. This is the type of system needed for moon-bounce using traditional SSB voice modulation.

Here’s a demo of JT65 on HF in action. The difference between what you hear on this demo and what occurred with my moon-bounce QSO, is that the signal level received was lower than what the human ear could hear, yet the digital processing was able to recover the data.

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